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February 25, 2009

Jindal Impressive on Today

Give the man his props. Much better today.

As I remarked in the comments, his problem was that he had been poorly coached. "Be upbeat," they told him. "Be Reagan-like. Be warm, and folksy, and really connect with the common man."

Some people have a gift with this; others don't. Jindal is an uncommon man. He is uncommonly intelligent, educated, and accomplished. While others may easily pull off the common touch -- as Reagan did -- others seem fake and condescending when attempting to channel their inner Bubba.

Mitt Romney, I think, has this problem as well.

The solution is simply to give up on it, by and large. People may react well to the warm, folksy, neighborly thing, but they react very poorly to inauthenticity, and an authentic egghead beats an fake Bubba any day of the weak.

Besides, these are serious times. The public wouldn't mind so much -- particularly now -- if a candidate reveals himself to be quite uncommon.

Palin is a natural at this. Romney and Jindal, not so much. Both men should play to their strengths and stop putting on an act that's fooling no one and reducing their respective appeals.

And, besides, George W. Bush had this schtick down cold. Because he departed an unpopular president, that style of politicking has lost a lot of its cache.

Let Bruce Campbell explain:

Republicans, meanwhile, have come up with an innovative new approach to politics -- trying to win on issues.

Well. Gee. It's sort of counterintuitive, and sounds kinda crazy, but I'm in the mood for crazy.

"You're seeing a major doctrinal shift in how Republicans are going to focus all these debates," the strategist told me. "The key is to focus on winning the issue as opposed to winning the political moment. If you win the issue, people will think you are ready to govern."

I can't believe they're just striking on this now.

Jindal's address wasn't an attempt at this, at least stylistically, but more of an attempt at the Warm, Likable school of winning on personality. Personality's important, but let's focus on the issues and let the natural charmers do their thin without bending over backwards to do poor imitations of them.

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posted by Ace at 12:44 PM

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